TAKE 5 Manitoba Film &
TV Sessions

Manitoba Film & Music, in partnership with
Film Training Manitoba, presents TAKE 5,
a quintet of professional development training at the
Gimli Film Festival

To register Click Here and select “Take 5 MB Film & TV Sessions” for $20
The $20 registration fee allows you access to all 5 sessions

The Gimli Film Festival is an internationally recognized event for both filmmakers and film lovers.

The Take 5 sessions will provide industry participants with insider knowledge during five 90-minute panel sessions. By getting behind-the-scenes advice from experienced professionals, attendees can learn tips and tricks to help you advance your career while also adding more depth and skill to Manitoba’s film and TV industry workforce.

These five training sessions will be presented at the Gimli Film Festival for Manitoba’s dynamic content creators (panelists TBA).

Dates for each session (one a day): July 15, 16, 20, 21 & 23, 2021

The times each day are the same: 1:00PM – 2:30PM

Take 1: Working with Funders July 15 1:00PM – 2:30PM
Participants will learn strategies on how to successfully engage with funders for your projects. 
Topics covered will include: 

  • Getting your project on their radar & preparing strategic creative pitch documents 
  • The dos and don’ts of submissions 
  • The future of financing 
Melanie Hadley

Melanie Hadley is an Ojibway woman originally
from Winnipeg, Manitoba and is currently
based in Toronto. She is currently the
Program Director for WarnerMedia’s
Canadian initiatives focused on building
relationships with and opportunities for
creators of all genders, abilities and
identities from Canada’s underrepresented
communities, including members of
Indigenous, Black, and other racialized
groups, creators with disabilities and
members of the LGBTQ2+ and Francophone

Prior to her role at WarnerMedia, she was executive in charge of production for CBC Drama overseeing projects in development and production including Trickster, Heartland, Frankie Dick Mysteries, Pure, The Secret Path and When Calls the Heart. Before that she was the manager of programming for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) where she managed development and first- and second-window licensing for television and digital media projects commissioned from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the Northwest Territories. Growing up in an underrepresented community, she has the unique life experience to give her the drive, ambition and perseverance to explore the power of change through storytelling.

Becki Brisson

Speaker Becki Brisson, Manager of Business Affairs for the Shaw Rocket Fund since 2012, will talk about working with producers and how she helps navigate through the application process to produce successful programs. She has overseen hundreds of investment applications and contacts as an integral part of the Fund. Becki worked on the production side as an Associate Producers and Business Affairs Manager for various television and film companies.

John Galway

For the past twenty years, John Galway has been integral to the development of Canadian filmmakers in various capacities including his prior role as President of The Harold Greenberg Fund and as the National Sector Head for Television with Telefilm Canada. In his role with the Harold Greenberg Fund, he oversaw investments of more than $40 million and helped develop over 1500 feature film projects. In addition to the main feature film development and production programs, John led partnerships with film festivals, script writing labs and film promotion initiatives, as well supporting documentary and short film projects. His understanding of narrative, financing, production and distribution has served Canada’s independent film and television community as he championed iconic work such as Degrassi: The Next Generation, Sarah Polly’s first feature, Away From Her; Rhombus Media’s Closet Monster and initiated partnership with financing with provincial agencies to support short films by emerging filmmakers.

In 2010, John created the Toronto Irish Film Festival and since its inception has served as the Executive Director & Programmer, building its audience to over a quarter of a million annually and elevating awareness of Irish Cinema and Irish Canadian Filmmakers in the process. As a graduated of York University – Schulich School of Business, John has combined his business acumen with being a consummate story consultant to serve as the Screenwriter Consultant and Producer’s Lab Facilitator for Whistler Film Festival since 2019. Returning to his production roots, John now works as an Executive Producer and Independent Production Consultant on select material while optioning work to develop through his own shingle, Corrib Entertainment.

John is a member of the Producers’ Roundtable of Ontario and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and sits on the board of the Canadian Film Festival.

Suzanne Lacey

Suzanne Lacey is Bell Fund’s Deputy Director, English Canada, a CRTC certified independent production fund. Since 1997, the Fund has received over $200 million in financial contributions from Bell TV to support the development
and production of high-quality Canadian content. Previously, she was Director of Multi-Platform Content and The Broadcast Schedule for TVO where she directed programming, scheduling and promo teams. Additionally, she was Executive in Charge of Production for TVO’s first dramatic series Hard Rock Medical (Distinct Features) and first factual series The Water Brothers (SK Films). Before that, her production managed various programs including the multi-Gemini Award winning documentary, Before Their Time (Discovery US-TVO Co-production). She is a graduate of Queen’s University film studies with a certificate in digital media from OCAD.

Louise O’Brien-Moran

Moderating this will be Louise O’Brien-Moran – Director of Film Financing, Tax Credits & Film Commission Services at MB Film and Music.

Louise has been a significant driver of production since joining the statutory corporation more 18 years ago. Her expertise in physical production has contributed to significant growth in the service production sector for the province. In her capacity as Director of Film Financing, she has overseen the investment of more than 40 feature films and over 150 hours of prime-time TV series, as well as a considerable number of factual and documentary programs. With more than 25 years experience in the industry, Louise has worked as a Unit Publicist, Production Coordinator, Location Manager and Assistant Director for feature films and television series

Take 2: Getting Your Project Seen July 16 1:00PM – 2:30PM
For any content creator, making the content is just half the battle. In this session, you’ll learn strategies on marketing your film according to your goals, with or without distributors, and include examples of productions that have gone on to succeed. 
Topics covered will include: 

  • Festivals – which ones to target and how to find the right fit 
  • Prepping your project for the Canadian and global marketplace 
  • How to create awareness to advance traffic to drive digital distribution 
Sean Garrity

Sean Garrity’s first studied film production and theory at Toronto’s York University and continued his studies at the Instituto de Arte Cinematografico de Avellaneda in Buenos Aires. After spending years backpacking through Asia and South America, Sean returned to his home town of Winnipeg to begin a career as a filmmaker and musician in 1997.

Sean speaks four languages, has a masters degree, and also works as a bass player, having appeared on half a dozen CDs, and performs live most weekends in Winnipeg, where he lives.  

I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight is the 8th feature film from award-winning Canadian filmmaker, Sean Garrity.

The press has referred to Sean’s work as “possessing a dark, twisted beauty” (Janet Smith, Georgia Strait) and has compared his work to that of David Cronenberg (Globe and Mail), Atom Egoyan (MacLean’s) and even Luis Buñuel (San Jose MetroActive).

His first feature film, INerTia, was awarded “Best First Feature” at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival, and netted him “Best Director” at the 2001 FilmCan Festival. The Globe & Mail named him one of three “Canadian Filmmakers to Watch” in 2002 and Northern Life announced “Sean Garrity is the new wave of Canadian cinema.”

Leslie Stafford

Leslie Stafford has been working in communications, marketing, and project management for over 25 years, in the music, dance, film, and television industries.

She has worked with all the major television networks in Canada, as well as CBS, Fox, Family Channel, Showtime, the BBC, and Channel 4. Her feature film credits as a unit publicist include Bennett Miller’s Oscar-nominated Capote, John Dahl’s You Kill Me, and Guy Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World.

Recently, her work as a Marketing Manager at the National Film Board of Canada saw her manage the release of over 150 feature documentaries, shorts, and animated films, in Canada and internationally. Some of recent her credits include Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Angry Inuk, Tasha Hubbards’ Birth of a Family, Velcrow Ripper and Nova Ami’s Metamorphosis, and Cam Christiansen’s Wall. (Full resume available upon request).
She is a past president of the Winnipeg Film Group and Company Link Inc., a Winnipeg-based experimental dance and theatre company.
Leslie lives in Winnipeg.

Liz Jarvis

Liz Jarvis has worked in the film industry for over 30 years.  She joined Buffalo Gal Pictures in 1995 and has contributed to the company as a producer, business affairs executive, post-production supervisor, and assistant director. 

Most recently, Liz is Production Executive for Sean Penn’s feature Flag Day, which has recently premiered in Competition, Festival de Cannes 2021. She was Supervising Producer for the Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson feature The Forbidden Room (Sundance and the Berlinale, 2015). 

She co-produced the Mexico/Canada/US film You’re Killing Me, Susana and Canadian interprovincial co-productions Trench 11, Borealis, Mad Ship, The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom, and High Life., as well as the US-Canada- Kuwait co-production Amreeka, ( Sundance and Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, where it won the FIPRESCI Critics Prize.)   

Liz teaches Producing for Film at the University of Winnipeg.

Alex Rogalski

Alex Rogalski is the Senior Canadian programmer for Hot Docs. Past programming work includes the Toronto International Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, Victoria Film Festival, Gimme Some Truth, and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. He is the former Executive Director of PAVED Arts and New Media, and currently a Program Consult with SK Arts in Saskatoon.

Take 3: The Business of Screenwriting July 20 1:00PM – 2:30PM
Any Manitoba content creator hoping to advance their career will benefit from attending this session. The panelists will provide a 360-degree view that includes writers, producers, broadcasters and distributors to show the trajectory of script to screen as it pertains to optioning, development, greenlighting, production and delivery.

  • The relationship between writers and producers in development and when to break up and to move on
  • The role of the writer in pitching the project
  • Your script going into production is the sweet sorrow of handing off control
  • How to capitalize on the success of projects that you have had produced
Shamim Sarif

Writer and director Shamim Sarif is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter and director for film and TV. She is also a long-time advocate for the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community and her focus is on stories aligned with feminism, social impact and humanism.
Her latest book, The Shadow Mission, is a feminist thriller released by HarperCollins in October 2020 and is a sequel to The Athena Protocol (published October 2019). The books are being developed for TV by Enlightenment Productions in association with Village Roadshow and Gran Via Productions (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul).

Shamim’s feature films as writer/director include Despite the Falling Snow, which released in the US in March 2017. The movie stars Rebecca Ferguson and Charles Dance and is based on Shamim’s acclaimed second novel set in Cold War Moscow, published by St Martin’s Press and Hodder. The movie garnered 13 awards.

Her first feature film as writer/director, ‘I Can’t Think Straight’ won 11 awards. Her follow up movie ‘The World Unseen’ based on her award-winning book, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival before garnering 23 awards internationally. Her third film, a documentary called ‘The House of Tomorrow’, was shot on location in Jerusalem.
Shamim’s next film project is Polarized; a contemporary love story between two women from very different sides of small-town America. She is also working on a musical of I Can’t Think Straight and developing a number of TV and film projects. TV directing credits include Ann Rule’s House on Fire, Murdoch Mysteries, and the upcoming Diggstown (CBC/Fox).
An accomplished speaker, Shamim has spoken at TED events worldwide, at the INK Conference in India and DLD in Munich. Corporate speaking events have included Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Citibank and Disney.
Shamim was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) in 2019. She is also a member of the Writers Guild of America and BAFTA.

Shawn Linden

Shawn Linden is a Winnipeg-based writer, director and producer. His first feature film, the self-financed NOBODY, screened at over fifty film festivals worldwide. In 2012, Shawn completed his second feature as writer/director/producer: A GOOD LIE, starring Matt Craven and Julie Le Breton, premiered at the 2012 Busan International Film Festival.
He recently finished his third feature, HUNTER HUNTER, starring Devon Sawa and Nick Stahl, which was acquired by IFC Midnight and had its US theatrical release in December of 2020.
Along with his feature work, Shawn has also written and directed for the true-crime television series In Plain Sight (2018). His other television writing works include the SyFy network’s Doomsday Scrolls (2011), and The Fixer (2015), a four-part miniseries starring Eric Dane and Kathleen Robertson.

Take 4: How to Maximize Your Production Values July 21 1:00PM – 2:30PM
Hear from production designers, sound editors, music supervisors and post-production advisors on how to make your project look and sound great.
Topics covered include: 

  • Creating a space
  • A visual medium requires sound
  • Post-production strategies 
  • Upcoming trends 
Danny Schur

Danny Schur is a Winnipeg composer, produer and writer for stage, screen and studio. His movie musical Stand! – based on his award-winning stage musical Strike!, set against the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike – was the #1 Canadian movie at the box office during its release in latter 2019. Danny has worked with a who’s-who of Manitoba’s major label recording artists like Chantal Kreviazuk (Sony), McMaster & James (BMG) and Doc Walker (Universal). Danny is currently developing his next feature, Spirit Lake, set against the WW1 internment of Ukrainian-Canadians, along with developing the recording career of Winnipeg singer, Leah Janae.

Helena Fleger

Helena Fleger – Visual Effects Producer
Helena is originally from Manitoba and started working on film sets in 2009 in BC for the locations department.
She then began working in film in Manitoba from 2010 to 2014 in multiple areas: production office, PC, AD department, and assistant to producer / director, as well as the PC for documentary film at Merit Motion Pictures 2011.
She went on to work as the VFX coordinator at Opus VFX 2013, Post Production Coordinator Buffalo Gal Pictures
2015, and now Urban Post, 2016 – Present: Chief Operations / VFX Producer.

Andrew Yankiwski

Andrew Yankiwski – Producer, Precursor Productions
Andrew is a professional producer who has overseen countless projects during his decade at the helm of Precursor. His philosophy as a producer is simple: understand each artist’s creative vision for their music and make it a reality in the studio. As an engineer he is known for extremely high production values and the unique ability to create a signature sound for each artist.

Adam Smoluk

Moderating will be Adam Smoluk. Adam is the Managing Director of Film Training Manitoba. His debut film, HORSETHIEVES was awarded the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Winnipeg International Film Festival. His second feature film, FOODLAND was acquired by Shaw and premiered on the Independent Film Channel (IFC). The film was broadcast on Super Channel and designated to the Gem selections for critically acclaimed films. He served as a director for the Frantic Films and Discovery Channel’s true-crime series IN PLAIN SIGHT.
He studied on scholarship at the British American Drama Academy at Oxford University and the National Screen Institute of Canada’s Features First Program. He was the sole writer from the Americas awarded selection to the 2016 eQuinoxe Europe International Screenwriting Program in Lindau, Germany.
He currently serves on the Advisory Committee for REEL Canada, which promotes Canadian Cinema.

Take 5: The MasterclassJuly 23 1:00PM – 2:30PM
The Take 5 series would not be complete without a once-in-a-lifetime special masterclass with a veteran of the film and television industry. This moderated discussion will include a Q & A to give all participants the opportunity to get your questions answered by a special guest that has achieved industry success at the highest level.

Niv Fichman – Producer

Niv Fichman is the founder and president of Rhombus Media in Toronto – Canada’s preeminent producer of theatrical feature films and high-end television drama and arts programming. Over the past 42 years Rhombus projects have been screened all over the world, received much critical acclaim and garnered countless international awards: including numerous Genies and Geminis, a number of Primetime and International Emmys, a Golden Rose of Montreux and an Academy Award. Mr. Fichman has produced feature films by renowned international directors including Fernando Meirelles, Denis Villeneuve, Olivier Assayas, François Girard, Guy Maddin, Patricia Rozema, Don McKellar and Brandon Cronenberg. Notable past film projects include: The Red Violin, Last NightCleanBlindness, Passchedaele, Hyena Road, The Saddest Music in the World, Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn GouldHobo with a Shotgun, Antiviral and Enemy. His most recent film Possessor, written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg, premiered to universal acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival 2020 and walked away with the Best Film and Best Director awards at Sitges Film Festival the same year. His past television projects include Slings & ArrowsYo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach, and Sensitive Skin and his most recent series The North Water, written and directed by Andrew Haigh, premieres July, 2021 on AMC+ and September, 2021 on BBC. Mr. Fichman is currently in preproduction on Mother, Mother – an original feature film by the acclaimed musician-turned-filmmaker K’naan – to be shot in Somaliland in early 2022.

Aaron Graham will moderate

Moderating the session will be Aaron Graham, who is a film writer and Production Manager based in Canada. He’s worked on features and MOWs for Fox, Hallmark, MGM, Netflix, Universal and Warner Bros Premiere. He has a freelance film writing background and was selected to the Talent Campus at the Berlin International Film Festival. He is a full member of the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) and serves on the DGC Manitoba district council’s executive branch.
He’s also a contributor to the 2020 book “Tonight, On A Very Special Episode: When TV Sitcoms Sometimes Get Serious Vol. 1, 1957-1985.”

FTM is a member of the Province of Manitoba’s sector council program through the Department of Economic Development and Training. FTM builds a highly skilled and adaptable film industry workforce to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates with members of the film and television industry to identify the training needs within the community.

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